Florida is a liberal discovery State. Any documentation that might be relevant in a proceeding is discoverable. The Rule of Mandatory Disclosure requires parties to turn over some disclosure, but a party might want to look at more documents to figure out what a good resolution might be in a Florida divorce case.
For example, in an alimony case. Both parties may want to examine the spending habits of the parties for a term of years leading up to the divorce. If only one party has access to bank or credit card statements, they will want to request from the other party the documents needed to analyze.
Unfortunately, divorce attorneys in Florida rarely take the time to narrow the scope of a request to produce to what is truly needed in a given case. As a result, you might be seeing a 50 paragraph monster that is extremely intimidating. Your divorce attorney should go through the request and “summarize” the list of documents that you really need to get.
Why do I Have to Turn Over a Document That is Not Admissible in Court?
Perhaps the opposing party wants copies of a non-marital account in Portugal. Or perhaps they are asking for documents of a business you started after you filed for divorce. Why do you have to turn it over?
Remember, the question is not whether a document in and of itself is admissible in Court. The question is: Can the document possibly lead to relevant evidence now or down the road. And from that perspective, many documents should be disclosed that may not see the Court.
More importantly, you have to decide if it is worth fighting the issue of discovering the documents in Court. In a vast majority of cases, it is simply cheaper and more efficient to turn over organized documentation than it is to go in front of Judge on discovery issues. There are exceptions, but it is wise to always to decide if the financial costs of fighting discovery is worth it.